Commitment to Action: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Animal Welfare (Panel Discussion)

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Recorded On: 06/16/2020

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Amanda Arrington (HSUS) and Johnny Jenkins (PetSmart Charities) joined forces in October 2019 to lead The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee. These two animal welfare leaders immediately began working to dismantle barriers to advance DEI efforts in animal welfare. Bolstered by The Association’s Board of Directors' commitment to action, the goal is to coordinate a North American leadership summit resulting in a doctrine dedicated to eradicating institutional structures that maintain systemic disparities in animal welfare. A strong and committed intersectional pipeline of advocates and leaders will be critical to the sustainability and evolution of this work. How do we stay vigilant, avoid complacency, and continue to challenge ourselves to advance in this work? We start with a bold and honest conversation at the 2020 Spring Conference with a panelist of animal welfare leaders already implementing change. 

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This panel discussion was recorded during the Spring Conference for Animal Welfare 2020. Learn about the full conference recording package. 

And check out the free Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Package which includes this recording.

Amanda Arrington - Panel Facilitator

Senior Director of Pets for Life, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

With Pets For Life, Arrington guides a social justice-driven approach to create equity in and access to pet resources and information for people in underserved communities. Under her leadership the program has been implemented in over 50 markets across the United States and is working to make companion animal welfare a more just and inclusive movement. Arrington previously served as a lobbyist and North Carolina State Director for HSUS., served three years as the chair of the Durham County Animal Control Advisory Committee and on the board of the Durham Interneighborhood Council. Amanda has received numerous awards for her community outreach work, including the prestigious American Veterinary Medical Association Humane Award in 2018. Arrington currently serves as co-chair of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement’s OnPOINT committee on increasing diversity in animal welfare.

Johnny Jenkins - Panel Facilitator

President, The JyOba! Project

Johnny is an animal welfare consultant who has managed multi-million-dollar grant portfolios to advance racial and economic justice, LGBT equality, and animal welfare. His skills have been used to advance the missions of reputable private foundations such as the Arcus Foundation, and PetSmart Charities. He has provided leadership to multiple racial equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives in animal welfare, including PetSmart Charities’ Racial Equity Advisory Committee, The Association's DEI Committee, and the HASS Project DEI Advisory Committee.

Gabrielle Chapman

Senior Social Justice Analyst, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

Gabrielle Chapman is the former Executive Director of Call to Action for Racial Equality, West Virginia’s first professional statewide racial equity coalition. As HSUS’ Pets for Life Senior Analyst Social Justice, Gabrielle will lend her skill set to facilitate complex conversations ranging from criminal justice reform to racial and economic justice in the animal welfare world. She is a 2018–2019 Soros Justice Fellow with the Open Society Foundation and serves as a Board of Director for West Virginia’s Center on Budget and Policy and West Virginia Women's Health Center. Chapman holds a BS in Applied Biology from Russell Sage College. During her college years, she interned at the U.S. Department of Defense, was an assistant with Sage College’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, and volunteered with the American Friends Service Committee.

Ed Jamison


Dallas Animal Services, City of Dallas

Dallas has the third largest intake in the United States, with over 39,000 dogs and cats coming into their care in 2019. Ed Jamison has been tasked with increasing public safety by getting loose animals off the streets, while at the same time increasing positive outcomes. To accomplish that, Jamison is leading a staff of around 220 employees, maximizing relationships with the rescue community, rebuilding the volunteer base and instituting new, progressive programming. Prior to coming to Dallas, Jamison was the Chief Animal Control Officer for the City of Cleveland, Ohio, but he entered the animal care and control world in the mid-2000s while he was the animal warden for the City of Garfield Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. In his time serving Cleveland, Ed made a push to redefine the way animal control functions and re-brand the public’s perception of the industry, along with the perception of pit-bull-type dogs. Ed serves on the board of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement.

Jose Sandoval

Commissioner for the Department of Los Angeles Animal Services

Known as a proponent on issues of health, safety, and animal advocacy serving in public service roles in the Los Angeles Area, in 2012 Sandoval founded the Latino Alliance for Animal Care coalition to educate and empower the Latino community about animal welfare. Sandoval's interest in working on behalf of animals began with the adoption of his German Shepherd/Collie mix, Lucky, from the East Valley Animal Shelter after the dog was abandoned by four previous owners. Today, the bond between Lucky and Sandoval is inseparable. From that experience, he continues to build his network as a resource to help other companion animals find loving homes.

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